N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Third child sex abuser in court Volume: 108 No.11FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY, BREEZY HIGH 78F LOW 70F By LAMECH JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org A MAN was found unani mously guilty by a Supreme Court jury yesterday of hav ing sex with an 11-year-old girl. Alexander McPhees conv iction for having sex with the girl between July 2006 and February 2007 is the third such conviction in as many months. On Tuesday, Bishop Earl Randy Fraser was found guilty of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who he had been coun selling. And two weeks ago, 60year-old clergyman Albert Alexander Whyley was sentenced to life in prison for the same offence for which he had been convicted in midSeptember. Following yesterdays verdict, McPhee, flanked by policemen, lowered his head to the camera as he was e scorted in handcuffs out of the Supreme Court after a jury convicted him 9-0 of thec rime. The trial before Jus tice Vera Watkins lasted nearly two weeks. T he unlawful sex case was initially heard in a prelimi nary inquiry in Magistrate's Court before being forwardedt o the next highest court for trial, where prosecutors Roger Thompson, KoschinaM arshall and Terri Archer presented evidence to a jury of eight women and a man. According to testimony from the virtual complainant, who turned 12 during the ordeal, the sexual relations took place every night in the seven-month period between July 2006 and February 2007. Law enforcement officers were notified when the matter was reported on February 21, 2007 by her mother and grandmother whom she had told. Man guilty of attac king girl, aged 11 TRY OUR PINA COLADA McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM SWIMMING B B R R I I A A B B O O U U N N D D F F O O R R S S C C H H O O L L A A R R S S H H I I P P SEESPORTS SECTION B NEWS SPORT FASHION MOVIES TV MUSIC ONSALETOMORROW C C O O U U P P O O N N S S ! C C O O U U P P O O N N S S ! S S A A V V E E U U P P T T O O $ $ 3 3 0 0 0 0 By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter a email@example.com MANGROVE Cay residents yesterday welcomed news that the settlement would receive autonomy after long-standing protests. However, some residents said they will have to see the change to believe it as the community had been promised an independent dis trict in previous years. By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE FNM has denied reports that claimed Clifton MP Kendal Wright was given an ultimatum that if he voted against the Constituen cies Commission Boundary Report, he would be ousted from the party. Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Party Whip Brensil Rolle said claims that Mr Wright was told if he voted against the Constituency res olution he would be removed POLICE issued an urgent a ppeal last night for informat ion on missing sisters Christin a Austin Brown, 14, and Shaniece Austin Brown, 12, of Wrights Lane. C hristina is described as being of dark brown complexion, slim build, and stand ing 5 7 tall. Shaniece is of light brown complexion, slim b uild, and stands 5 6 tall. The sisters were last seen on Tuesday, November 29, att heir home. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 911 or9 19; the Southern Police Station on 322-3337 or 356-0228; or the Central Detective Unit on 502-9991, 502-9910. S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 im lovin it HANDCUFFED, Alexander McPhee is led from court yesterday. Photo:Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff SEARCH FOR MISSING SISTERS MISSING sisters Christina, left, a nd Shaniece Austin Brown, aged 14 and 12. AUT ONOMY? WELL SEE... FNM MP W OULD NOT BE OUSTED REPORTS from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, say that lawyer Chalmers Chal Misick was arrested on Tuesday and detained overnight. Misick is the brother of for mer Turks and Caicos Islands premier Michael Misick. Caribbean News Weekly said Thursday that the report of Misicks arrest came from reliable legal sources. According to Caribbean News, Misick appeared in Magistrates Court Wednesday and was charged with laundering $2.7m for his brother, Michael. Considered a flight risk bail was set at $2m on condition that he does not travel by boat or plane, checks in to police every morning and sleeps in his res idence every night. It was claimed Misick is facing additional money laundering charges totalling about $14 million. It is said that another brother, Washington Misick, also a former chief minister, is trying to arrange bail for him. A special investigating and protection team in the Turks and Caicos are looking into allegations of government corruption on the island. LAWYER ARRESTED IN TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS CHALMERS MISICK, who it is reported has been arrested
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T T w w o o s s i i r r s s , w w i i t t h h l l o o v v e e APANORAMIC shot of cars taking part in the Bahamas Speed Week Revival parked at the Sir Harry Oakes monument yesterday for a break during their island tour. Photo:Derek Smith S IR STIRLING M oss chats to Sir Sean Connery at Lyford Cay yesterday as the cars gathered for judging. THE Maserati 450s owned by Rob and Melani W alton valued at $7m won the trophy for the best car in show. Left, cars at Lyford Cay. THE Speed Week cars go on show on Bay Street tomorrow night, before Saturdays hill climb at Fort Charlotte and Sundays sprint racing at Arawak Cay. T ickets are still available f rom Dwights Place on Arawak Cay, Atlantis, the Cricket Club at Fort Charlotte, and five Shell service stations. They are also available o nline at BahamasSpeedW eekRevival.com, or by phoning 676-4503. B AYSTREETRACERS
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 3 By KHRISNA VIRGIL TWO men and a woman w ere arraigned in the Magistrates Court yesterday in con-n ection with the armed robbery of a popular fast-food spot last weekend. Kadeem Bain, 20; Steven Taylor, 20; and DwaynetteT aylor, 18, appeared before C hief Magistrate Roger Gomez in Court One, Bank Lane to face charges of firearm possession with the intent to endanger life, armed robbery, and conspiracy to c ommit armed robbery. T he prosecution claims the three, while armed with a gun, robbed the Burger King Cable Beach location of $1,719.03, while endangering t he lives of police officers PC 1 856 Sands and CPL 2521 Seymour. T he incident took place on Saturday, October 26 at around 6pm. Chief Magistrate Gomez informed the accused that they were not required to enter pleas to the conspiracy and armed robberyc harges. However, the three told the court they were not guilty of conspiring to commit armed robbery, committing armed robbery, and possession of a firearm with the intent to h arm. Ian Cargill, Mr Taylor's attorney, accused the police of abusing his client. He claims Mr Taylor was blindfolded and beaten on then ight of the incident. Chief Magistrate Gomez adjourned the case to February 15, 2012 pending a Voluntary Bill of Indictment thati s to be served on that day. T his will forward the matter directly to the Supreme court f or trial. S ixteen witnesses are listed on the court dockets. A MAN is in hospital today after being shot in both legs b y a man who was apparently a stranger. Police say they are investigating this shooting and a separate armed robbery,b oth of which took place yesterday. T he shooting victim, an unidentified 28-year-old St Vincent Road man, was at Second Street in CoconutG rove around 10am when he w as approached by his attacker. Officers say that the attacker was unknown to the victim. He is said to be in stable condition. Two hours later, two men b urst into Purity Bakery on M arket Street armed with h andguns and demanded cash. T hey made off with an undisclosed amount of mone y. P olice are asking for the p ublics assistance in locating the men responsible for both incidents, and appealed to anyone with relevant information to call them on 911 or 919. P olice investigations are c ontinuing. P OLICE are seeking a truck driver responsible for a traffic fatality. T he incident occurred at about 5.15am on Thursday at Sapodilla Boulevard, Pinewood Gardens. T he victim, Andrew Franois, 68, of Podoleo S treet, was struck by a purple or burgundy coloured Ford Ranger, police say. H e was taken to hospital by ambulance, but died of his injuries a short while later. Anyone with information is u rged to contact police on 911, 919, 393-7204 or 393-7713/4. BAHAMAS Against C rime executive director Rev Dr CB Moss has yet to decideif he will run in the 2012 gen eral election. A statement issued yesterday from Rev Mosss office by Fred Munnings noted that for the past several months t here has been speculation, intensifying recently, that Rev Moss will again contest the Bain and Grants Town constituency as he did in 2007. However, the first consid eration of the well known social activist and anti-crime campaigner, according to the statement, is as always, the best interest of the Bahamian people. It said: As a result, his participation in the upcoming election will be dependent upon his confidence in his ability to improve the qualityof life for the residents of Bain Grants Town, and to contribute to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. This is still being assessed and determined. RADIO host Jay Michaels was rushed to hospital yesterd ay after sufferi ng an accident during Bahamas Speed W eek Revival. The broadcaster, pictured was working as an MC and a nnouncer at Lyford Cay C lub, where cars had gathered for the Concours DElegance and judging of vehicles. F ollowing the announce ments, Mr Michaels accidentally slipped on the front step of the club and struck his head o n the floor when he fell. He was taken to Doctors Hospital amid fears he had s uffered a fractured skull in the fall. Mr Michaels was con scious following the fall. He w as later reported to be recovering well, and may be discharged tomorrow. D WAYNETTE TAYLOR, 1 8, Steven Taylor, 20, and Kadeem Bain, 20 at court y esterday. Photos: T im Clarke / Tribune Staff E MOTIONAL f amily members of the accused Burger King robbers. By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT Police have recovered one of two vehicles reported stolen in early November. According to police reports, a white 2001 Volvo, licence plate No. 33315, was stolenfrom the parking lot of Jer rys Sports Bar on Cedar Street on November 9. The second vehicle, a blue 2006 Ford Explorer licence plate No 40400, was stolen during an armed robbery on November 25 at Princess Lane,near the Perfume Factory. ASP Clarence Reckley reported that police recovered the white Volvo in good condition on a dirt road over the bridge. SEATTLE Associated Press THE FEDERAL court s entencing date for Colton Harris-Moore in the Barefoot Bandit case has been set for Jan. 27. He pleaded guilty in June to charges that included the theft of a plane in a cross-c ountry crime spree. He was arrested in 2010 in the Bahamas. The 20-year-old is expected to face a seven-year sentence. H arris-Moore also is s cheduled to appear in court Dec. 16 in Coupeville where he is expected to plead guilty to about 30 burglary and oth-er charges. They were combined from Island, Snohomisha nd San Juan counties where the Camano Island man began breaking into cabins as a barefoot teen. State prosecutors are aski ng for a nine-year sentence. T he federal and state terms would be served at the same t ime. SENTENCE DATE FOR BAREFOOT BANDIT SEARCH FOR TRUCK DRIVER AFTER FATAL CRASH MAN SHOT IN BOTH LEGS BROADCASTER HURT IN FALL AT CAR EVENT S T OLEN CAR REC OVERED MOSS YET T O DECIDE ON 201 Three face court over Burger King robbery
EDITOR, The Tribune. THErecent ruling that was handed down by DeputyC hief Magistrate Carolita B ethell in the Bishop Randy Fraser sexual abuse case has proved to all Bahamians, especially the poor, that the judicial system is fair and that n o man is above the law in T he Bahamas. Like many Bahamians, I t hought that prominent citizens were immune to justice. I was surprised that the bishopw as found guilty by the courts. I was under the impression t hat Bishop Frasers promin ent position in society would have saved him from going to Her Majestys Fox Hill Prison.B ut I was wrong. For a while there, I thought only regular, ordinary peoplew ent to Fox Hill Prison. I thought that there was one justice for the poor man and another one for the rich uppity ups in The Bahamas. I never thought that the long arm of the law also wenta fter the folks who live in the upper echelons of Bahamian society. While the ruling is a very good one, I am still astonished, however. Many B ahamians, including myself, t hought that Bishop Fraser would have gotten off scot free. I n 2007, the case against him was dropped by Magistrate Marilyn Meeres because of some technicality. The Crown appealed that decision, however, and the case was brought back to trial. The evidence that was presented inc ourt was ironclad and i rrefutable. As a matter of f act, I am still wondering why this case had taken so long to c ome to an end. Bishop Fraser is obviously a very powerful man within the Christian community. I unders tand that his church, Pilgrim B aptist Church, is a mega church. I think his church is a ffiliated with US Bishop Paul M ortons Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. B ishop Fraser evidently has plenty of clout. But this wasn ot enough to save the clerg yman. I hope he uses his time in prison in order to get his life back on track. He has three y ears to think about his mis c ues. I believe that God has used the judicial system to c hastise the clergyman. The Bible tells us that God chastens His children when they step out of line. The reason why God has resorted to u sing the state to punish His people is because church e lders simply refuse to take d isciplinary actions against wayward, disobedient Chris tians. Oftentimes, sex scandals and other embarrassing incidents are swept under the rugb y the leadership of the c hurch. I am glad, however, that the young victim in the Bishop Fraser case came forward. That took a lot of courage on her part. It was h er word against a very powe rful clergyman. She must be commended. T he Christian community must pray for the bishop, his family and his church mem-b ers. We must also keep the victim and her family in prayer. G od can restore Bishop F raser. The road to restoration and revival, however, can only begin when the clergy-m an starts being brutally honest with himself, his family, his church and this nation.B ishop Fraser must also be honest with God. Unless he truly repents, he will never find peace with his Creator. In the final analysis, the Bishop Randy Fraser case has revived my confidence in thej ustice system. The prosecutors and the magistrate should all be commended for doing an excellent job with this case. Magistrate Carolita Bethell has proved to me that B ahamian justice is blind. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, G rand Bahama, November 29, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 Freeport fax: (242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm LONDON After years of decline, measles is on the rise in Europe, according to a new report. As of October, European health officials reported more than 26,000 measles cases this year and nine d eaths. Thats a threefold increase in cases from the same time period in 2007, said the World Health Organisat ion. F rance accounted for about 14,000 c ases, mainly in children older than five and in young adults. Other big outbreaks of the highlycontagious disease have been identified i n Spain, Romania, Macedonia, and Uzbekistan. So far, measles has killed nine people in Europe and hospitalised t housands of others. The report was published Thursday by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. We are seeing a surge of cases much l arger than weve seen in the past five or six years, said Rebecca Martin, immunisation programme manager for WHOs Europe office in Copenhagen. Measles cases had been dropping for y ears, but began to increase sharply in late 2009. M artin said the epidemic was fueled m ainly by low vaccination rates and noted about half the cases were in peo ple older than 15. Over the years, people who havent been vaccinated are now giving the virus a big opportunity to spread,M artin said. The report said overall vaccination rates in Europe were high, but still did n t meet the 95 per cent target needed t o stop outbreaks. Of the people who got measles, about half werent vacci nated and the vaccination histories of many of the others was unknown. M ore cases in Europe have also m eant spillover elsewhere. The US has 205 cases this year the most in a decade and virtually all are linked to other regions, including 20 cases from Europe. Because North America has so little measles, every imported case requires a thorough investigation and response costing tens of thousands of dollars, Martin said. The US normally only has about 50 cases a year. In May, international health officials posted an alert urging travellers everywhere to get vaccinated before flying overseas. Measles is highly contagious and up to 90 per cent of people exposed to an infected person get sick, experts say. The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours a fter the sick person leaves. It causes a fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. The dise ase kills about one to two children for e very 1,000 it infects, and can also c ause pregnant women to have a miscarriage or premature birth. In 2008, there were about 164,000 measles deaths worldwide. More than 9 5 per cent of those deaths were in poor countries. Health officials say controlling m easles outbreaks in Europe is still being compromised because of igno rance of the diseases severity ands cepticism about the vaccine. T he measles shot was tainted by now discredited research published by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 suggesting a possible link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and r ubella. Parents abandoned the vaccine in droves and suspicion about its s afety still lingers, even though r epeated studies have shown no con nection. Unlike in the US, where most states r equire children to be vaccinated against measles before starting school, no such regulations exist in most ofE urope. Spain and Switzerland exclude unvaccinated children from school dur i ng measles outbreaks, but dont other w ise insist on vaccination. In France and Britain, parents are advised to have their children immunised if they havent received the m easles shot, but there is no penalty f or not doing so. WHOs Martin said Europes measles epidemic appeared to be on the decline. She said France and Switzerland were planning to offer the measles vaccine to older age groups in the future. She warned people who skipped the shot that measles is not a mild disease. Its a dangerous decision not to get vaccinated, she said. One death is too many when we have an effective vaccine. By Maria Cheng, Associated Press Justice for all even bishops LETTERS l firstname.lastname@example.org Measles outbreaks on rise across Europe EDITOR, The Tribune. It has been our intention, for nearly one month to writet o congratulate Baha Mar on the superb new roads around Baha Mar Cable Beach. What has been created, is function a l, practical and, beautiful. For so many years, my friends and I thoroughly e njoyed our walk along the centre of the Cable Beach walkway. A s we learnt of the new C able Beach plans, we were saddened and concerned to learn that our walkway may not be there. A s the work began, we stumbled in the darkness of morning, over construction,f eeling very disgruntled how every morning we now have this whole new adventure awaiting us. T he new roads, foot paths, and bridges are superb. We especially love the wet lands w ith the egrets, ducks and birds. The landscaping has been g iven so much love and attent ion, the bus stops, benches and matching garbage bins, even the laundry has been giving a face lift The lantern l ights are just beautiful and I would like to congratulate you Baha Mar. T hank you also to the con struction teams, landscapers and everyone who has created this paradise location, and for B aha Mars contribution to make our island even more beautiful with your creation. T hank you so much. DIANE, HELEN & PENNIE Divine Divas Nassau, November 11, 2011. Thank y ou to w orkers Re: The Unwanted Wall EDITOR, The Tribune. IN A recent conversation with the owner of the unwanted wall on East Bay Street, I was given the following explanation for the construction. Homeowners and business persons in the immediate area have been plagued with crime and safety issues and found evidence that the aforementioned property was used as a staging area from which to launch criminal activities. The owner, at his own expense, decided to build a wall of modest height on which to add barbed wire etc. in order to protect the community something I should hope that all those whiners would do for their neighbours protection, should it be required. When I drive by the area, I no longer see all the garbage that our concerned citizens tossed onto the former site, but I can still see the vista. I venture to state that even a wheelchair pedestrian can see the view and now has a sidewalk on which to safely relax. BC PS A little research could have kept a lot of flytraps busy doing what they do best catching flies! Nassau, November, 2011 T T h h e e r r e e a a s s o o n n b b e e h h i i n n d d t t h h e e w w a a l l l l EDITOR, The Tribune. Re: Lawyer claims child rapist should be spared jail and given treatment instead. The Tribune November 25, 2011. THERE seems to be concern that paedophiles and other sex offenders cannot get the treatment they need locally because it is not available in prison or at Sandilands. However, let us not overlook a reasonably effective alterna tive treatment, which also has a fairly low rate of recidivism, and could be readily available at PMH its called castration. KEN W KNOWLES, MD Nassau, November 27, 2011. T reatment of paedophiles
By LAMECH JOHNSON l email@example.com T WO men were acquitted o f murder in the Supreme Court yesterday afternoon after the judge ordered a 12member jury to deliver a unanimous verdict of not guilty. C ordero Saunders, 21, and T errel Mackey, 23, of Central Andros, were both on trial for the January 9, 2010, shooting death of Jermain Deal. They were discharged foll owing Senior Justice Jon I saacs ruling on no-case submissions made by defence attorneys Terrel Butler and Murrio Ducille yesterday afternoon. On the day in q uestion, Deal, 22, of North M astic Point, Andros was found shot to death in a green Nissan Sentra. Evidence from Princess Margaret Hospital pathologist Dr Caryn Sands yester day showed that the victim died from close range shotgun wounds to the head and n eck, and long range shots to t he abdomen. U pon completion of testim ony by prosecution witnesse s, Mr Ducille and Mrs Butler made submissions to the court in the absence of the jury, ont he fact that there was no evid ence against their clients. W hen the jury returned to c ourt yesterday afternoon, S enior Justice Isaacs told them that based upon closed discussions with the defencea ttorneys and prosecutor Vernal Collie, they were to return a not guilty verdict. The foreman, as instructed, announced the unanimous 120 not guilty verdict. DURING the first 10 months of this year, 120 reports of alleged police brutality were lodged at the Complaints and Corruption Unitof the Royal Bahamas Police F orce. One hundred and thirty-seven officers were under active investigation at the end of October due to these com-p laints, according to Deputy Commissioner Quinn McCartney. In 2010, the unit investigated 201 incidents of alleged assault by police officers, however, none of these investigations resulted in dismissal, saidM r McCartney. However, he added, a numb er of these cases are currently before the force's disciplinary tribunal. The Tribune has documented several cases of alleged police brutality. In early October, a 31-yearo ld mother claimed that her husband and son were brutalised by police officers outside their home. I saw the man punch my h usband. I didn't know who he was. He was not in a uniform. He punched him again and started to drag him out of the car by his feet. At that point, I ran outside to see what was going on, said Sherice Darling. Thats when I saw about seven other men on top of himb eating him and choking him. I ran to him and told them to let him go. They never identified themselves. They never said why they were there. They dragged my husband, threw him in the back of theb us and pulled off, Ms Darling alleged. She said she made an official complaint of the incident with police. I n January 2010, a man alleged that he was beaten, suffocated and choked by officers at the Central Detective Unit. Presley Vildor, 26, said he was picked up by CDU officers from his home inP inewood Gardens for questioning in relation to a mur-d er investigation. Mr Vildor claimed he was beaten intermittently for five days until his release without being charged with an offence. He claimed he returned to the station that same day withh is father to collect personal items when he was arrested and assaulted. They intimidate me, threaten me and say they gab uss my lying ass, Mr Vildor said, claiming he was assaulted by about eight to 10 officers, including an inspector and a sergeant. Mr Vildor said he was taken to a large room, marked Investigation Office, andh andcuffed to a chair for hours. He also claimed thatw hile one officer gripped his legs, one would hold his shoulders while another officer placed a thick plastic bag over his head to suffocate him. He said he was struck in the head with a police radio, hitw ith brass knuckles, kicked, had a chair pressed on his ribs and choked several times until he passed out. One would punch, one w ould kick and they beat you in the joints and stuff. And they tell me things like Yeah don't worry if we dont kill you, we ga make the streets kill you or we ga do things to you to cause your body break down when you get older,h e claimed. He also made a complaint o f the incident with police. By LAMECH JOHNSON l firstname.lastname@example.org TWO men were arraigned in Magistrates Court yesterday on multiple armed rob-b ery and stealing charges in s eparate cases. In the first of two arraignm ents, Kemel Blanc, 26, of 229 Ghana Circle, appeared b efore Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez on Monday to be charged with two armed robberies, a car theft and receiving. A ll the offenses are alleged t o have been committed by t he accused on April 3. The prosecution claims that o n that day, the Elizabeth Estates resident robbed Demion Turnquest of a Tom my Hilfiger wallet, a Nokia c ell phone and an Echo Drive w atch while armed with a handgun. The three items are said to have a combined value of$ 588. I t is further claimed that he held up and robbed Kristian A dderley of a BlackBerry phone worth $599 and an i Pad valued at $1,281. It is also alleged that he stole and received a silver Nissan Maxima worth $8,500 belonging to Sheldon Longl ey. T he accused was not a llowed to enter a plea to the armed robbery charges but p leaded not guilty to stealing and receiving. The matter will be for warded to Supreme Court for t rial when the prosecution p resents a Voluntary Bill of Indictment in Court One, Bank Lane on February 16, 2012. B lanc was remanded to Her M ajestys Prison until the completion of his trial. T he other man, Anthony Farrington, was arraigned on f ive armed robbery charges and the same number of receiving charges. The prosecution alleges that on Tuesday, October 11, t he accused, while armed with a handgun, robbed five indiv iduals of accessories, elec tronic items and cash, togeth e r valued more than $1,000. While he plead not guilty to receiving the items, he was not allowed to enter a plea to a ny of the armed robbery c harges. Farrington told Chief Magistrate Gomez that while in custody at the Central Detec-t ive Unit, he was a victim p olice brutality. He also told the court that o fficers refused to allow him to see a doctor. F arrington claimed his jaw had been broken before and that he feared it was broken again as a result of the alleged beating. H e also claimed to have a g unshot wound in his leg. T he complaints were not ed and he was remanded to p rison until the completion of his trial in the Supreme Court. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 5 120 claims of police brutality reported in ten months DEPUTY COMMISSIONER Quinn M cCartney said that none of the 2 01 investigations last year of alleged assault resulted in thed ismissal of officers. TWO MEN FACE COURT OVER SERIES OF ARMED ROBBERY CHARGES TWO CLEARED OF MURDER
B Y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT This year, students at the BishopM ichael Eldon High School did something different to commemorate World AIDSD ay they formed a human r ed ribbon to show their support of those suffering from t he disease. T he event was part of a series of activities aimed ath eightening awareness about HIV/AIDS, which caused an estimated 1.8 million deaths w orldwide in 2010. A morning mass was held at the schools campus on W ednesday, which included the reading of the WorldA IDS Day message. A IDS Secretariat repre sentative Mavis Ward and Nurse Rogan Rolle of the G rand Bahama AIDS A wareness Committee were in attendance. A fun run/walk is planned for December 10 in Grand Bahama. T he red ribbon, formed by grade 12 students, is an international symbol of AIDS awareness. T he ribbon is worn during W orld AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for t heir support and commitm ent. Ms Ward said the global t heme for World AIDS Day 2 011 launched by UNAIDS is Getting to Zero, and is f ocused on achieving three targets. Getting to zero means z ero new HIV infections, zero new AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination, she said. Here in the Bahamas, we continue in the fight against H IV/AIDS by conducting p eriodic HIV testing and scaling up our preventioni nitiatives to educate the public about this disease, she told students. At the opening of first C aribbean HIV Conference last week, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said that HIV and AIDS continue to b e global concerns. M r Ingraham said that despite a notable decline in: new infections, the transmission of HIV from mother to c hild, and deaths from AIDS, t he disease is still the leading cause of death amongB ahamian men and women b etween the ages of 25 and 44. M rs Ward said the Bahamas is no different from anywhere else in the world. We continue to see new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS, she said. As we celebrate World A IDS Day with emphasis on stigma and discrimination, let u s be cognisant of the fact that H IV/AIDS is not just a health issue; it concerns all of us. S he stressed that the issue must be a concern to political, religious and youth leaders, parents, grandparents and c hildren. We must become empathetic, caring, and knowledgeable; we must become p assionate about what we do. T he goal of zero is not impossible it is achievable, she said. According to UNAIDS e stimates, there are now 34 m illion people living with HIV. D uring 2010, 2.7 million p eople became infected with the virus, including an estim ated 390,000 children. Despite a significant decline in the estimated number of A IDS-related deaths over the last five years, there were still an estimated 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths in 2010. I t was stated that the vast majority of people with HIV a nd AIDS live in low and m iddle income countries. But HIV remains a threat to men,w omen and children on all continents around the world. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Aribbon to remember FROM LEFT, Father Hepburn, Bishop Michael Eldon High School chaplin; Minna Winters, vice-chairman, GBAAC; Anita Doherty, principal of Bishop Michael Anglican High; MavisW ard, AIDS Secretariat representative; Nurse Rogann Rolle, s ecretary GBAAC; Kevin Thompson-Delancy, public relations officer. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn
THE New Providence roadworks WILL be worth the expense once they are c ompleted, according to the majority of voters in The Tribunes online poll. Three hundred voters said the expense was worth it, compared to 127 who said i t wasnt. T hose commenting on T ribune242.com had plenty to say on the subject. Prince was positive about the project: I think after all the roads are comp leted, we will appreciate it. S ome of us like to stick to the old things but I think the government is trying tom ake this a better Bahamas. As was Cat Island Boy: We Bahamians simply n eed to stop complaining and grow up. There are those of us who will always d isagree with anything that M r. Ingraham does. If he w alked on water, some would still bemoan the stuntb y complaining that he s hould have swam. Politics aside, and everyone will agree that this improvement project was sorely needed to upgrade some of our basic utility infrastructures. Yes, there had to be casualt ies, but at the end of the d ay the entire island will be better off. Erasmus Folly had s light praise for the Prime M inister: I voted yes as well, but think it could have been implemented better. As always, Ingraham doesn't do the best job possible, but h e gets something done and that is always more than can be said for the other side, which is all talk and no action, every single time. Eyes wide open, nearly s hut by roadworks was a f irm no voter: It could n ever be worth it considering the number of businesses shut down, persons who lost jobs, the cars that have been ruined and ones in n eed of constant repairs, the w aste of gas going north/south to get back to where you were. Stanley Jackson Sr was also critical: NO! The road restoration project was poorly planned from the i nception. Too many sidewalks, too narrow high volume traffic corridors, no jitn ey or school bus stop areas o r stations, no future water, s ewage and power infrastructure accommodationse tc. Bahamians will have to p ay again to correct these problems for decades to come. Not surprising. Another of Hubert Ingrahams FNM failure. The last word goes to Genus86: Just because it w ill be worth it does not m ean that we had to go through all of this. Dont miss your chance t o vote in a brand new Trib une poll now on www.tribune242.com. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 7 Voters agree roadworks will be worth expense Just because it will be wor th it does not mean that we had to go through all of this.
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE G EORGE TOWN, the Cayman Islands the political status of this tiny British Overseas Territory south of Cuba, which enjoys one of the worlds highest standards ofliving, has been described by local intellectuals as voluntary colonialism. As late as the 1950s, the Caymanos to use an earlier name were known as the islands that time forgot. But today, they are home to a dazzling array of high-end tourist and financial infrastructure, p opulated by a cosmopolitan and largely affluent workforce of 36,000 more than half of which is from other countries. G rand Cayman has managed to preserve its position as a top financial centre in the f ace of a crackdown on international money laundering and tax evasion, as well as the recessionary impact of the global credit crisis. Andt ourism grew by more than f ive per cent last year, for a total of 1.9 million visitors. In f act, the island is buzzing with activity. The Cayman islands are no longer a backwater. Despite b eing subject to British colonial rule (and occasionally whining about it), Caymani ans are way ahead of Bahami-ans in terms of holding their government to account. In addition to a national ombudsman and an independent auditor-general, the legislature unanimously approved a freedom of information law in 2007. That law was formulated o ver a period of years by a Cabinet Office working group w hich looked at similar legislation enacted by Britain, C anada and other West Indian islands. A 16-member s teering committee was f ormed after the law had been p assed to guide the whole p roject to completion. And a separate implementation c ommittee was appointed, h eaded by an experienced FOI coordinator fromJ amaica who was responsible f or developing and delivering t raining, raising awareness, and developing policies and procedures. T he Caymanian FOI law took effect in January 2009, and by all accounts it has had a big impact on the way government authorities here interact with the press and w ith the community in general. Our Freedom of Information Bill tabled in the House by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham a few weeks ago is almost a verbatim copy of the Caymanian law, so I thought it would be useful to visit Grand Cayman and meet w ith the Information Commissioner, Jennifer Dilbert, and her deputy, Jan Liebaers. D ilbert was formerly the Cayman government representative in London, while Libaers is a former deputy director of the National Archive. From their second floor office in Elizabethan Square,a short stroll from George Towns spic and span cruise terminal (which is about to u ndergo a multi-million-dollar Chinese makeover), Dilbert a nd Liebaers have shepherde d about 1800 freedom of information requests over the past two and a half years, 50 per cent of which were granted in full or in part. T he public authorities involved have included the Tourism, Immigration andC ustoms Departments, the Police, Cabinet Office, Legal Affairs, Lands & Surveys, P lanning Department and the W ater Board. But most requests have been aimed at the Police, and the Immigrat ion or Legal Affairs Depart m ents. A ccording to Liebaers, p ublic reaction to the work o f the Information Commissioners Office has been pos i tive. Together with the complaints commissioner (ombudsman t or-general we provide an enormously important counterbalance to the inertia of g overnment, he told me. Some 91 public authorities are covered by the FOI l aw. As the Caymanian Compass newspaper recently wrote: More information is now available to the public about the operation and responsibilities of government agencies than has ever been available in the past. In fact, since the advent of t he FOI law, many public boards and commissions in the Cayman Islands have m ade it standard practice to release meeting minutes on their websites something that is unheard of in the Bahamas. As you might expect, the most frequent requests havec ome from the press, or from a handful of activists and lawyers. And most relate to g overnment spending such as contracts, travel expenses o r remuneration. But they h ave also focused on recruitment processes, statistical data, meeting minutes, and personal information. The Caymanian FOI law w as a campaign promise by the former Peoples Progres sive Movement government l ed by Kurt Tibbets, although the then opposition United Democratic Party voted for it t oo. But after the UDP won t he 2009 election, Premier Mckeever Bush has some times appeared less than happ y with it. A t a press conference last y ear, for example, Bush l ashed out at some elements o f the media and the FOI law in general, threatening to i mpose a six-figure licence fee on media outlets. The outburst was sparked by a freedom of information request for his travel records. The FOI law, while purporting to ensure transparency and accountability, costs the country a lot, Bush said, especially as it ties up civil servants who are required to respond to requests which can literally come from Mickey Mouse (a reference to the fact that requests can be made anonymously). T he Information Commissioner's Office annual budget is a little more than $600,000, and over the past two and ah alf years it has processed 65 appeals to requests for information that were denied. Fift een appeals went to a formal hearing, of which seven were decided in favour of the public authority and seven in favour of the applicant, witho ne case withdrawn. T hese decisions have not yet led to a judicial review, b ut Liebaers told me the Cabinet almost took one FOI case to court last year. That decision involved a request for t ranscripts of meetings between Caymanian and British representatives who were discussing constitutional changes. The changes, which took effect in 2009, updated the Cayman constitution, creating an office of premier for the first time, and devolving more power from the British governor to a reogranized Cabinet. A bill of rights was a lso drafted, and will take effect next year. The Cabinet refused to release the meeting trans cripts on the basis that they were exempt because they w ere confidential and disclos ure would harm internationa l relations, but the UK gove rnment had no objection at all and they were released, L iebaers said. Often its not whats con tained in records that make t hem the subject of requests, b ut the fact that they are b eing withheld in the first place, which makes people suspicious. Many civil servants have an instinctive desire to keep things closed. For example, the Cayman governments recent cancellation of an agreement with GLF Construction of Miami to expand George Towns cruise port, in favour of a new contract with China Harbour Engineering, has spawned numerous conspiracy theories. Grand Cayman has no real h arbour, so cruise ships anchor offshore and ferry passengers to town the way it used to be done here. TheC hinese will build new berths for the largest liners, and then operate the port for 49 years, b ut the Information Commissioner is currently reviewing the Port Authoritys refusal to release documents on the controversial contracts witch. We are not WikiLeaks, Liebaers said. Everything h as to be balanced, but the government needs to be held accountable. All of us in the ICO believe in what we are d oing, and making the law effective depends a lot on our office. The personality and reputation of the information commissioner also contributes to the success of the legislation, he said. FOI requests can be emailed or hand-delivered to the relevant public body, and pseudonyms can be used to protect an applicant's identity. R equests should be acknowledgment within 10 days and a d ecision communicated within 30 days. If no response is r eceived, or if the applicant is unhappy with the response, t hey can refer the matter to t he Information Commiss ioner. When an appeal reaches our office we first try to medi a te with the relevant public a uthority, which is less labour intensive, Liebaers said. Of the 65 appeals so far, s ome 19 have gone to full h earings and in about half of those cases we ordered the release of the records and it has gone very smoothly. The Bahamas legislation like the Caymanian law gives a general right of access to all persons, stipulates a public interest test for most exemptions, and establishes the post of information commissioner for enforcement. The commissioner will be appointed to a five-year term by the governor-general in an open process and be r esponsible to parliament. The bill also protects whistleblowers who publish information on illicit activi-t ies, but will not apply to the courts, the uniformed services or financial supervision agenc ies in respect of their strategic or operational intelligence gathering. Records will be exempt from disclosure if the disclo-s ure would harm the foreign r elations of The Bahamas or reveal other confidential i nformation of Cabinet; trade secrets, and in other specified circumstances. This groundbreaking legisl ation for the Bahamas comes 30 years after Australia passed its FOI Act, 17 years after Belize, 10 years after Trinidad, eight years after Jamaica, six years after the United Kingdom, and three years after the Cayman Islands. Once passed, the legislation will be brought into effect by the middle of next year, binding any future government. S o we are late again, but potentially a big step closer t o delivering more transparency and accountability in p ublic affairs. The keys to making this l aw work will be the choice o f information commissione r, the depth of the commiss ioner's implementation plan, the training of public officers t o support the laws provis ions, as well as how savvy the media will be in takinga dvantage of the law's provis ions. Bahamas learns from Caymanos
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 9 T otal autonomy is expected t o boost the settlements e conomy by providing jobs and retaining wealth. Alice Bastian, a restaurant owner, said: It would provide more jobs in this area for y oung people. Everything is in the South right now, and if everybody have to be coming from the South to do theset hings (in Mangrove Cay could bring jobs for people here. Once they have jobs, it w ould boost my business b ecause they have money to spend. The people when they come from the South now they hardly stop around and buy stuff. Currently, the settlement d epends on the district of K emps Bay, South Andros, for the day-to-day operations, functions, and responsibilitiesi n local and central government. A ccording to residents, the externalised government services triples the cost of doing b usiness in Mangrove Cay. One of the main frustrations for the people on the i sland is having to travel to South Andros, some 25 miles away by a water taxi, to have b asic local government services taken care of. Services range from the issuance of contracts for work w ithin their own community o r a simple task such as the approval of a driver's licence. Prime Minister Hubert I ngraham announced that the settlement will have its own l ocal government January 1, along with an independent Road Traffic Authority. A mong the boundary changes passed in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, t he settlements name was also included in its constituency title, which was c hanged from South Andros to Mangrove Cay a nd South Andros. During his debate on the C onstituencies Commissions boundary report, Mr Ingraham said he wanted to restore t he name and also restore the settlements prestigious past as an independent hub. According to residents, Mr Ingraham assured them that a n independent district would be established if they electeda n FNM representative in 2002. However, independent W hitney Bastian won the seat over Ronald Bosfield, FNM, a nd Vincent Symonette, PLP. The settlements administrator did not respond to calls p laced last night. from the Free National Movement (FNM absolutely not true. He said: To my knowledge no such ultimatum was given. Mr Wright refrained from voting on the boundary changes in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, igniting reports that he was pressured by the governing party to either support the resolution or not vote at all if he were to remain in the party. Political sources claimed Mr Wright had been told thatif he voted no to the resolution he would no longer be welcomed in the FNM. Refuting these claims, however, Mr Rolle said Mr Wright is a member of the FNM, a democratic organisation where its members are allowed to speak their mind. Mr Rolle said as the Clifton representative Mr Wright had to take the lead from his constituents and their opinions on the proposed changes. During his passionate contribution to the Parliamentary debate on the commissions report this week, Mr Wright said he understood the process but expressed disappointment that the majori ty side did not speak to him about their plans to eliminate his constituency before the information was made public. You could cut Clifton, I understand that, go ahead and cut your boundary lines, do what you want to do but I say this ... at least somebody should let you know that there is going to be an eradication or delimitation, but that's all right, said the MP. He added: Im for progress, and make no mistake about it, I do not plan to come here and say it was all right because its not all right for Clifton you got be kidding me. Mr Wright said as a courtesy he should have been informed of the proposed boundary changes before they were made public knowledge. At least extend me some courtesy, you could change the boundaries but dont tell me till after! he remarked. The resolution was passed, subject the three amend ments, giving effect to the proposals put forward by the Constituencies Commission. The three modifications included the elimination of the St Cecilia name as opposed to the Englerston name which was proposed by the commission; Bain and Grants Town will become Bains Town and Grants Town; and Central and South Andros, as proposed in the report, will become Man grove Cay and South Andros. B y AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham last night encour aged church and civic organi sations to develop more programmes that can serve asa lternative sentencing for j uvenile offenders. Mr Ingraham underscored the urgent need for the men-t oring and tutoring of the n ations youth, particularly atrisk young men, at the offi cial launch of the Social Inter vention Programme last night. In the Bahamas, we are putting too many young men i n prison and there has to be a better way for us to deal with persons who run afoul of the law, he said. Clearly there are some offences for which prison is the answer, but they are not the majority of offences. We are paying far too great a price in this society for lock i ng up far too many young men. Following the launch of a national volunteer register last month, it is the governments hope that civic organisa-t ions will receive much neede d human resources to strengthen their community outreach. M r Ingraham said greater v olunteerism was needed to support and increase social initiatives that aim to provide young people with positive and alternative life experiences and skills. While we know that finan cial resources are critical to your goal, they do not, cannot, heal a nation or inspire i ndividuals to lead lives of responsibility that great task is the responsibility of all of us acting individually and collectively. By expanding the num b ers in your individual programmes and networking with others, we are hoping to produce a ripple effect which, when it reaches critical mass, will truly promote the typeso f change that will reduce c riminality and renew indi vidual lives and urban communities. H e added: This is why we m ust act in concert and doing diverse work such as parent ing classes, mentoring, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, and youth and sport development. M inisters of Labour and Social Development, and Youth, Sports, and Culture met with church, civic, and s porting outreach programmes to announce the availability of additional funds and discuss new social initiatives. Applicants must submit a w ritten proposal to the Ministry of Labour and Social Development. The proposal should outline the details of the initiative and include a budget and the amount off unding requested. I nitiatives must comply with SIP objectives, which focus on social intervention,m entorship, personal devel o pment, leadership and selfempowerment of urban youth. Programmes must also be sustainable, cater to persons up to 35 years old, and be able t o produce measurable results. Ministry officials will monitor and review accepted programmes periodically, and c an discontinue funding if objectives or requirements are not met. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e B y DANA SMITH d email@example.com THE Bahamas is less corrupt than the United States, according to a report released yesterday. Transparency Internationals Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI based on their perceived lev-e ls of public sector corrupt ion with the number one s pot belonging to the country w ith the least amount of corruption. The CPI has been publ ished yearly since 1995, with 183 different countries being ranked this year. The Bahamas makes its debut on the chart this year, ranking at 21, beating countries such as the United States, France, and Spain. A ccording Transparency Internationals official webs ite, they determine the perceived levels of corruption in the public sector with expert assessments and opinion surveys. Two other Caribbean countries also made their debut on the chart, with St Lucia at 25, and St Vincent and the Grenadines at 36. P reviously ranking C aribbean countries, Haiti a nd Trinidad and Tobago, a lso made this list again this year at 175 and 91, respectively, indicating high levels o f corruption. Jamaicas country ranking was 86 with Guyana, 134. According to the CPI, the least corrupt country is New Zealand at one, while Somalia and North Korea another new debut, tied for the most corrupt country at1 82. BAHAMAS REPORTED TO BE LESS CORRUPT THAN THE US AUTONOMY?WELL SEE... FNMMP WOULD N O T BE OUS TED A CAR overturned last night on the corner of Dowdswell Street and Christie Street shortly before 9pm. The d river, a woman, was injured in the crash, and was taken to Doctors Hospital. Witnesses at the scene told reporters that the woman appeared to be shocked but not seriously injured. PM s call to help y oung Yesterday, after the jury was excused from court by JusticeW atkins, defence attorney Anthony Rolle made inquiries about a probation report beinga vailable within a timely period before sentencing wash anded down to his client. J ustice Watkins informed h im that the reports take at least six weeks to be completed. She then told McPhee: "Mr McPhee, the jury has returned a guilty verdict. This court will remand you to Her Majesty'sP rison until your sentencing." She added that in the lead up to his sentencing, he will be interviewed by the Department of Rehabilitative Services officials regarding the p robation report. A sentencing date of February 14, 2012, was set. THIRD CHILD SEX ABUSER IN COURT f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e WOMAN INJURED AS CAR OVERTURNS
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 11 P RIME MINISTER H ubert Ingraham and the crowd at the lighting of the Christmas tree on Wednesday. Photos:Felip Major/Tribune Staff A COMMUNITY dance group performs at the ceremony. THE ROYAL BAHAMAS Police community band performs. CHILDREN hold up candles at the ceremony. CARRINGTON MCKENZIE sings at the national tree lighting ceremony held on Wenesday in Rawson Square A Christmas cracker A MUSICIAN e ntertains the crowds.
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE A warm welcome VISITWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM FOR MORE PICTURES AND VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM SPEED WEEK GUESTS, organisers, part icipants and visitors to the Bahamas Speed Week Revival were warmly welcomed to Government House on Wednesday night for a cocktail reception. The event capped a day w hich saw racers complete ceremonial laps of the Arawak Cay course. Photos:Derek Smith See page 2 for more details of Speed Week events.
DETROIT Associated Press AMERICANSare finall y replacing the cars and trucks they held on to during the economic slump, g iving a big boost to U.S. auto sales in November. Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Hyundai were amongt he companies reporting d ouble-digit gains from last November, which isn ormally a lackluster m onth because of colder weather and holiday distractions. This November, buyers were lured by goodd eals, improving confidence in the economy and the need to trade in older cars. "Consumers are just starting to say 'it's time to start spending moneya gain,' says Larry D ominique, executive vice president of data for the TrueCar.com automotive website. An early blitz of holiday advertising helped convince some people that it was a good time to buy. Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president for U.S. sales, says dealers saw the same rise in sales that other merchants did on Black Friday and the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Industry sales rose 14 percent to 994,721, according to Autodata Corp. It was also the fastest sales pace since August 2009, when the government offered big rebates for drivers to trade in their gas-guzzling clunkers. U.S. sales would hit 13.6 million this year if they stayed at the same pace they did in Novem ber. That's a far better rate than the 12.6 million in the first 10 months of this year. Car companies expected sales to improve as p eople who held on to cars during the economic d ownturn return to the market. The average ageo f a car on U.S. roads is a r ecord 10.6 years, accord ing to Polk, an auto industry research firm. And ther ate of cars that are scrapped has surpassed sales for several years. Paul Ballew, a former G M chief economist who n ow works for Nationwide Insurance, notes the level of pent-up demand is unprecedented. "Unless this recovery is derailed, vehicle sales will continue to moveu pward," he says. A better selection of cars at Toyota showrooms also brought more shop p ers back into the market. Many buyers spent the summer waiting for thosei nventories to improve a fter the March earth quake and tsunami in Japan squeezed supplies, says economist Jenny Lin, who works for Ford Motor Co. Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales rose 7 percent for the month, the first time the company has seen a year-over-year increase since April. Sales of the subcompact Yaris more than doubled. Sales of the Prius hybrids which now include the original car as well as the new Prius V wagon were also strong. But Honda Motor Co. continued to struggle, partly because of flooding in Thailand that forced the company to slow down U.S. production. Honda sales fell 10 percent for the month. Chrysler Group LLC's sales rose 45 percent from a year earlier. They were led by the Jeep Compass small SUV, which had a nearly ten-fold increase in s ales. Jeep brand sales rose 50 percent, while C hrysler brand sales nearly doubled on strongd emand for its 200 and 3 00 sedans. Chrysler raised its incentives to nearly $3,300 per vehicle,u p 6 percent from October. At General Motors Co., buyers snapped up smallc ars and pickup trucks. S ales of the Chevrolet Cruze compact rose 64 percent, while the Silvera do pickup, GM's top-sell ing vehicle, saw sales jump 34 percent. "We are seeing a broad s pectrum of customers return to the market," says Don Johnson, GM's U.S. sales chief. GM'so verall sales were up 7 percent. Ford's sales rose 13 perc ent, fueled by the new E xplorer SUV, whose sales more than tripled over last November. The increases reflect improving consumer confidence, which rose to its highest level since July last month, according to the Conference Board. Attractive leases also spurred sales. Dealers offered good terms because low interest rates and high used-car values make leased vehicles worth more when they're returned. GM, for instance, is offering a Cruze lease at $169 per month for 39 months. According to TrueCar.com, an auto pricing site, the average industry spending on incentives such as leases and lowinterest loans was $2,534 per vehicle in November, up 2.5 percent from October. Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the auto information site Edmunds.com, estimates that 200,000 to 300,000 b uyers who held off purchases over the summer a nd are coming back to the market now. But het hinks sales could soften t his spring once those buy ers are exhausted. "I wouldn't view this as s uggestive of a fundamental economic rebound," Anwyl says. Instead, he expects the recovery to continue the bumpy progress it has seen all y ear. O ther carmakers reporting Thursday: Nissan Motor Co. says sales were up 19 percent. The new Versa smallc ar led sales with a 38 percent increase, but SUV and truck sales also rose 32 percent. Hyundai Motor Co. says sales rose 22 percent t hanks to sales of the new Elantra, which jumped 44 p ercent. Volkswagen AG says s ales were up 41 percent on the strength of the new Jetta and Passat sedans.V olkswagen sold 6,018 Passats in November, compared with 374 last November. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 7B Employment Opportunity Manitowoc Container Crane Operators Liebherr/Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane OperatorsREQUIREMENTS: EXPERIENCE: PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Fax: (242 On or before December 9th 2011 NO CALLS PLEASE T HE 2011 CHEVROLET SILVERADO a nd GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups assembly line at the Flint Assembly in Flint, Mich. GM reported Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, strong sales of small cars as well as pickup trucks. T he Chevrolet Cruze compact saw a 54 percent increase, while the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, GMs top-selling vehicle, was up 34 percent. (AP NEW YORK Associated Press THOMSON REUTERS CEO Tom Glocer is stepping down at the end of the year. He will be replaced on Jan. 1 by James Smith, the chief operating offi cer of one of the world's largest news and financial information companies. The change in command comes after a series of management shake-ups in the past six months, as Thomson Reuters Corp. tries to turn around its struggling markets division. That operation main ly serves financial institutions. Glocer, 52, was the first American to lead Reuters Group when he became CEO in 2001. He became CEO of Thomson Reuters in 2008 when Canada's Thomson family bought Reuters. The Thomson family appears to be exerting more control. Glocer was the last link to the old Reuters management team in the merged company. The Thomson family owns about a 55 percent stake in the company through the Woodbridge Co. Thomson Reuters CEO stepping down
BERNARD CONDON NEW YORK Associated Press FROMhumble origins as a natural gas distributor, E nron became a trading o peration with the Midas touch. It made bets on oil, water, Internet traffic, even the weather. Wall Street's brightest worked there. Its s tock tripled in two years. V irtually no one knew h ow it had made so much money. T en years ago Friday c ame the answer: It hadn't. E nron's bankruptcy on D ec. 2, 2001, revealed a f raudulent illusion. Investors swore they would not be so profoundly deceived again. But it was only the beginning of a decade when so much in the economy was not as it s eemed. C an't-lose Wall Street guys turned out to be c heats. Home values did not g o up forever. Promising s igns of recovery after the Great Recession turned out to be nothing, and hard t imes endure. The theme was shredded f aith that and debt, the more the better. "We have faith in the big s core," financial historian Charles Geisst says, trying t o explain why Americans have, time and again, b elieved in what was too good to be true. In the simple story of the p ast decade, a journey from corporate scandals to a housing bubble, then to a c ollapse and a frustratingly slow recovery, the villain is Wall Street and the victim Main Street. The reality ism ore complicated. THE BEGINNING One reason people didn't know how Enron made money was that it was ana malgam of 3,000 private d eals that came to light in its collapse, partnerships with names like Raptor,C ondor and Chewbacca. Behind those obscure names, Enron shunted bil lions of dollars of debt offi ts books. Investors were safe as long as they didn't ask too many questions. The company borrowed from Wall Street banks, mutual f unds and insurers, pledgi ng its hot stock as collatera l. The collapse wiped out $11 billion in stock value, nearly 10 percent in the 401(k o f Enron employees. A month later, an outspoken, Harley-riding CEO with an uncanny ability to pull profits out of a seemingly dull New Hampshire manufacturer appeared on BusinessWeek's list of top corporate managers. His name was Dennis Kozlowski. By the end of 2002, he was indicted for stealing $150 million from shareholders, and his company, T yco International, was b ankrupt. S everal other heroes of c apitalism toppled after h im. Bernard Ebbers drove W orldCom into bankruptcy after misleading investors in his high-flying companyin an $11 billion accounting fraud. John Rigas, who turned a $300 purchase intoa cable TV empire, was conv icted of fraud after prosec utors said he ran Adelphia Communications like a personal piggy bank," including using $26 million o f company money to buy timberland next to his home to preserve his view. M artha Stewart, who built her cooking and decorating b usiness on an image of homespun goodness, faced a grilling from regulators thats uggested a life more tawdry than tidy: She had d umped shares of a drug company on what appeared to be an illegal tip from herM errill Lynch broker. She was convicted of lying, though never accused of insider trading. The amountt he one-time billionaire s aved by selling early was $51,000. It was a time of plummeting stocks, trashed retire ment accounts, lost jobs and lost trust. One headline from 2002: "Scandals ShredI nvestors' Faith." R egulators cracked down, offering hope. Congress cre ated a board to police the accounting industry. It also passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, requiring executives to sign off on financial state m ents so they could be criminally liable for posting p hony numbers. I nvestors were thought m ore vigilant, too. But they got sloppy again, and almost immediately. Around the time of Enron's collapse, press r eports detailed how Italy, y ears earlier, had struck complicated "currency swap" deals with banks so it could borrow money without having to recognize the debt on its books. Later, Greece was shown to have camouflaged its debt in a similar way. In 2002, no one seemed to care. By the end of the year, Italy was paying about4 percent a year in interest o n its national bonds, r oughly what the U.S. was o ffering and a sign that few i nvestors were worried. T HE HOUSING BUBBLE In 2003, as jurors heard how Kozlowski got Tyco to pitch in $1 million for his wife's birthday party, featuring an ice sculpture of M ichelangelo's David that u rinated vodka, the seeds of a new crisis were being p lanted. American consumers had r un up debt to record levels by the end of 2003, and more of them than ever w ere filing for bankruptcy. Yet the stocks of companies e xtending mortgages to the riskiest borrowers, so-called subprimes, were rising fast. S ubprime was a euphemism for people who h ad too little income, too much debt, a bad record of paying lenders back ora ll three. As home prices rose, worry that they would not meet their mortgage payments was replaced withf aith that, even if they c ouldn't, they could always sell the home for more than they borrowed and return the money. Lenders eventually grew so cocky that they seemed willing to give money to vir t ually anyone who wanted a home. They also offered mortgages on top of mort gages so-called home equity loans that allowed people to tap their magically rising values to raise cash for flat-screen TVs orC aribbean vacations. Or to pay their credit card bills. If your home keeps a ppreciating, why not use t he equity," Robert Cole, C EO of mortgage lender N ew Century, said at the t ime. If the lenders were duping Americans, they made easy targets. Long before the housing boom, Americans were bor rowing more, saving lessa nd increasingly convinced they would not suffer the consequences. In the 1980s, A mericans saved more than 6 percent of what they e arned each year in income. Their debts totaled 70 per-c ent of take-home pay. By 2 007, they were saving nearly nothing, and debt had exploded to 140 percent ofi ncome. "People were using their homes like automated teller machines," says DavidR osenberg, chief economist a t Gluskin Sheff & Associ ates and a big critic of lend i ng during the boom. "At s ome point, people have to own up to their mistakes." Stoking all this borrowing was the Federal Reserve,w hich had slashed bench mark interest rates to 46year lows after the 20002001 tech-stock bust, pushing the cost of loans lower. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-spon s ored companies that buy m ortgages from lenders, played a role by targeting ever-riskier loans. The biggest, most sophist icated Wall Street firms f ooled themselves, too. B anks bought subprime l enders whole. Elegant m athematical formulas from t heir "risk management" departments told them their gambles were fine. Standard& Poor's and other credit rating agencies provided reassurance by slapping their highest ratings on bund les of risky mortgages. Wall Street was gripped by what chronicler Roger L owenstein called a "mad, S trangelovian" logic. Not c ontent to bundle thousands of subprime mortgages intom ortgage securities, banks b undled the bundles into something called collateralized debt obligations, orC DOs. Next, they created bundles of bundles of bundles, called CDO-squared. They created something k nown as synthetic CDOs t hat didn't even contain mortgages but merely ref e renced them, exchanging c ash between two parties taking opposing bets that a mortgage lender unconnected to them would geti ts money back. Adding to the confusion, it wasn't clear which finan cial firms held many of the original mortgages on which everyone was betting. They had been bought and solds o many times among i nvestors that no one could follow the paper trail. By 2006, the men who had wounded a nation'sf aith in capitalism were finally getting justice. Enron's former president, Jeffrey Skilling, began serv ing 24 years in prison. Ken neth Lay, the chairman, died before he could be sentenced. Rigas, the cable titan, got 15 years, Ebbers and Kozlowski 25 each. But we were about to discover that the lies we tell ourselves can be more dam aging. THE COLLAPSE In 2007, subprime lenders went bust, one after anoth er. Then all the mounting debt, made possible by years of half-truths and selfdeceptions, turned the fall of a single industry into a worldwide financial crisis. In March 2008, investors fearing bad mortgage bets at Bear Stearns pulled money out of the bank, leaving it to collapse into the arms ofa rival. Unable to untangle the web of mortgage risk, they began to wonder who was next. They focused on Lehman Brothers, and as that bank teetered, it became clear that the dan ger of complexity wasn't the only lesson from Enron that had been ignored. Lehman had hidden debt just like Enron. Using a financing tech nique called Repo 105, the bank had borrowed money in a series of deals structured to make it seem as though it had been "selling" assets to raise money. Lenders demanded money back, triggering a run on the bank and leaving ordinary investors scrambling to understand just how much t he company had borrowed. L ehman's bankruptcy in S eptember 2008 froze credi t worldwide and helped t urn the U.S. recession into t he worst since the Great Depression. Stocks eventually fell to 12-year lows, retirement accounts were devastated, and many Americans' biggest asset, their home, plummeted in v alue. By the end of 2008, Bernard Madoff was arreste d for lying to investors in a $ 60 billion Ponzi scheme o ver two decades. A few months later, PresidentB arack Obama started talk i ng up the strengths of the economy, but that soon proved a bit of a mirage,t oo. More than a year later, the White House announced its "RecoveryS ummer," a series of publ ic projects to goose eco nomic growth. But a year a nd half later, the unemp loyment rate is stuck at 9 percent and economic growth uninspiring. A sad footnote: After an o verhaul of Wall Street rules last year, broker MF Global turned to the same Lehman-like Repo 105 deals to fuel its bet on indebted European govern ments. The heavy borrow i ng helped send the firm run b y ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine into bankruptcy, throwing 1,000 people out of work and creating chaosi n markets as brokerage customers scrambled to get their money back. A month after the firm's collapse, regulators still can't find $1.2 billion of customer funds. THE RECKONING Now Europe is paying for years of using government debt to fund early retire ments and long vacations that its citizens really couldn't afford. Streets are choked with protesters, governments are toppling and interest rates rising, some to crippling highs. Rosenberg, the prescient housing critic, sees trouble for America, too. Frightened investors are buying Treasury bonds, which is making it cheaper than ever for Washington to borrow despite its tril lion-dollar-plus deficits. The danger is that low rates could lull Americans into believing that, even if they themselves can't bor row recklessly, it's OK for their government to. "A government debt bubble is already creating mis ery in Europe," Rosenberg says. "If we don't watch out, we'll face the same prob lem." Stocks have barely moved in the decade of lost faith. On the Friday before the Enron bankruptcy, the S&P 500 closed at 1,139. Last Fri day it closed 19 points above that. The incomes of many middle-class Americans haven't kept up with inflation. Home prices are still falling. Pretending we were wealthier has made us poorer. BUSINESS PAGE 8B, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT (No.45 of 2000 In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with Section 138 (4the International Business Companies Act, (No.45 of 2000PROPERTIES LIMITED is in dissolution. The date of commencement of the dissolution is November 30, 2011. Mr. Luis Marmissolle is the Liquidator and can be contacted at Avenida de las Americas 8000, Parque Miramar, Canelones, CP 14.000, Uruguay. All persons having claims against the Company are required to send their names, addresses and particulars of their debts or claims to the Liquidator before December 14, 2011. Luis Marmissolle Liquidator NOTICEINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT (No.45 of 2000 Horus Fund Limited (the Company Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with Section 138 (8the International Business Companies Act, (No.45 of 2000 Horus Fund Limited has been issued and the Companyhas therefore been struck off the Register. The date of completion of the dissolution was th 14th day of November, 2011 Luis Marmissolle Liquidator Legal Notice INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT No.45 of 2000 ALMIZAN LIMITED (the Company Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with Section 138 (8Business Companies Act, No.45 of 2000, the Dissolution of ALMIZAN LIMITED Dissolution has been issued and the Company has therefore been struck off the Register. The date of completion of the dissolution was the 17th day of October, 2011PANAMERICAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES (BAHAMASTD. Liquidator Legal Notice of DissolutionINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT No.45 of 2000 In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with Section 138 (8 of the International Business Companies Act, No.45 of 2000, the Dissolution of LUDLOW TRADING INC. of Dissolution has been issued and the Company has therefore been struck off the Register. The date of completion of the dissolution was the 24th day of October, 2011Renato Bullani Liquidator IN THIS 2006 FILE PHOTO attorney Daniel Petrocelli, right, puts his arm around former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, left, as they leave the federal courthouse after Skilling was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison, in Houston. People didn't know how Enron made money because it was a nearly imposs ible given the 3,000 private deals that came to light in its collapse, partnerships with names like Rapt or, Condor and Chewbacca. Those allowed it to shunt billions of debt off its books and convince investors it was safe as long as they didn't ask too many questions. (AP HAS US LEARNED THE LESSON OF ENRON 10 YEARS LATER?
T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 9B Employment Opportunity Crane MechanicsREQUIREMENTS: Or NO CALLS PLEASE Job OpportunityHotel Chief Maintenance Engineer The Chief Maintenance Engineer is responsible for maintaining the overall operation of the maintenance department and the appearance and working order of the hotel. The successful candidate must be able to work independently, as well as, with others. Responsibilities include but limited to: maintaining the exterior of the building, parking lot, and common areas, maintaining all equipment in guest rooms, conducting daily, weekly and monthly safety inspections and training the staff on safety and emergency procedures, and working with vendors. The Chief Maintenance Engineer must be willing to respond to emergencies, even if after hours, and work with corporate maintenance on special remodeling projects or capital expenditure needs. This positionrequires overall maintenance knowledge and troubleshooting ability with skills in painting, HVAC, carpentry, equipment, and tool usage. Aminimum of email@example.com BUSINESS REVIEW ter of Brookfield getting a r eturn on its investments. This can be done in several ways, such as profits and dividends generated by the Paradise Island resorts. Or it could decide to flip them to another buyer for a price greater than $175 million.T he global asset mana gers spokesman this week promised it would treat A tlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club as longterm investments, and would retain ownership for the foreseeable future. T hat, in Tribune Businesss humble opinion, does n ot quite reach the per cent comfort threshold. Kerzner International may still be managing the show, but Brookfield will doubtl ess put its foot to their back if the desired profits/divi dends fail to emerge. The B oardroom pressure will be on big time, make no mistake about it. A nd no longer will A tlantis and the One & O nly Ocean Club be run by what, to all intents and purp oses, was a family-owned company that had developed them as their dream, nur-t uring them lovingly over a 17-year period, and always prepared to regularly investi n them to keep them new, fresh and exciting. The Kerzners, especially Butch and his family, but his fathern ot less so, had a deep love and affection for the Bahamas, fully appreciating t he role their properties played in its economic health and the well-being ofi ts people. B rookfield has none of these qualities, particularly the emotional attachment.J ust how much the owner ship philosophy, focus and objectives changes remains t o be seen. But among the questions being asked by those in the Bahamian busi ness community this week w ere, for instance: Will Kerzner still be allowed to invest in community devel o pment, and upgrades such a s Montagu Beach and the Western Esplanade? Or will the new owners put a stopt o all that? It appears likely that the Government was able to use t he need for its approval to consummate the deal as a bargaining chip to wring a commitment from Brook f ield that there would be no cuts to Kerzner Internation als 7,200-8,000 Bahamian w orkforce. Sir Sol effectivel y let this slip out during his press conference. With a general election looming,r edundancies on Paradise Island would be a liability for the Ingraham adminis t ration and the last thing the Prime Minister would want in what is expected to be a tight race. B rookfield has also committed to maintaining capital expenditure and marketing spend levels, but it is the l ong-term future for Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club, and the crucial macroeconomic role they play in the Bahamas that is of most concern. If anyone doubtedt his, the data disclosed by the Prime Minister should remove all blinkers: a $189 m illion Bahamian payroll; $190 million spent by Kerzne r International annually on B ahamian goods and services; 18,000-20,000 jobs crea ted directly and indirectly, accounting for 15 per cent of all Bahamian jobs. The stakes are even higher than this. Just like the B iblical calendar, with its BC and AD yearly denomin ations (Before Christ and Ano Domini), the Bahamian economy has similar periods BK and AK (Before Kerzner and After Kerzner).A lmost single-handedly, Sir Sol revived the Bahamian tourism product, resurrect-i ng it and this nations reputation for doing business from the ashes, where it had b een left by the late Sir Lynd en Pindlings discredited regime and some notorious Commission of Inquiry find-i ngs. Through sheer drive and an unparalleled vision, Sir S ol transformed what Resorts International had left into arguably the worldsl eading destination resort. B ut it was always more than that. Atlantis put the Bahamas on the worldt ourism map in a way it had never been previously, blaz ing a path that ultimately t ransformed the entire Bahamian tourism plant, with other major investors following on Kerzners coat t ails. Without Atlantiss suc cess shining like a beacon, Baha Mar and the others might not be here. The three most successful hotel investments in theB ahamas to date have been K erzner, Sandals and Gor don Butch Stewart at Sandals, and John Issa and SuperClubs Breezes. What do they all have in common? T hey are owner/operators, who control the properties as well as the management. Correction. One, in the shape of Kerzner, has now dropped out. The weaknesso f the split owner/operator model has been seen time and again in the Bahamas, p articularly at the Grand Lucayan in Freeport, and a lso at Cable Beach (preB aha Mar at least). Will the same happen at Paradise I sland is now the question on many peoples lips. It is to be sincerely hoped that both the Prime Minister, in his two meetings with B rookfield, and Sir Sol and Kerzner International thems elves, have driven home to Brookfield two critical things. First, the linchpin role that Paradise Island plays in the Bahamas as thel argest private sector employer and investment, and its importance to theo verall national economy. Second, the difficulties all Bahamian hotels face in gene rating profits, given the l abour and utility cost issues, and the need to retain Kerzner International inp erpetuity. Private equity-type deals can work in the Bahamas, as s hown by BORCOs suc cessful passage from stateowned PDVSA to FirstR eserve Corporation, and n ow New York Stock Exchange-listed Buckeye Partners. The reassuringw ords of Sir Sol and George Markantonis, head of Kerzn ers Bahamian operations, a re to be fully believed....... for now, at least. But it is impossible to avoid the nagging, niggly little doubt that t he commanding heights of the economy have passed into the hands of an entity which Bahamians know little of, and have no idea as to whether it has the nationali nterests at heart. We will o nly know with the passage of time. Watch this space. For all our sakes. j ect, revealed how decades o f under-investment, neglect, poor maintenance and lack of planning have created conditions that pose a major environmen-t al and health risk. Referring specifically to the Water & Sewerage Corporation's wastewater and sewerage treatment role, the report said: "Histori-cally, sewerage has not b een given much attention d ue to its limited coverage (less than 7 per cent and 10,000 customers), low revenue generation ($4 million per annum), and the extreme challenges con-s tantly faced with water supply. T he IDB-related study added that the Water & Sewerage Corporation's total sewerage treatment a ssets on New Providence were now valued at $162.6 million, but "beyond inher i ted third party infrastructure and emergencies, very little investment has occurred over the past decade". This was why s ome $15.4 million of the $ 81 million IDB loan is b eing allocated to upgrade the Water & Sewerage Corporation's wastewater a nd sewerage treatment infrastructure, "in order to stabilise operations and tod eal with immediate and c ritical sewerage needs for New Providence over the next two-three years". 'THOUSANDS' EYE C ABLE AS FIXED-LINE ALTERNATIVE TO BTC CABLE Bahamas ( CBL) expects a 'signifi cant uptake' in its new fixed line service, REVOICE', leading up to the Christmas season and into 2012, a seniorm arketing executive recently told Tribune Business. The company recently l aunched its fixed-line offering, REVOICE, via its subsidiary Systems R esource Group (SRG adding the final piece to the company's 'triple play' c ommunications, with R EVTV and REVON constituting its cable tele vision and Internet offer i ngs, respectively. Mark Cabrelli, the company's vice-president ofm arketing and sales, said: "We have launched it at this time because we thinkt he market is ready for a competitor to come in and offer fixed-line services. "We have offered it at this time of the year because we're coming up on the holiday season, so we are expecting and hop ing that there will be a significant uptake leading up to the Christmas period and then into next year. We think 2012 is going to be quite a defining time for the company in terms of getting a real solid mar ket share of the fixed voice market." While not disclosing exact figures, Mr Cabrelli said that thousands of customers have been introduced to the offering via the company's soft launch. We had a soft launch," he added. "The numbers were in the thousands in terms of bringing customers on board, and we hope that that is going to increase substantially aswe move into the New Year." THEMONTH INREVIEW FROM page 11B Share your news The T ribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbour hoods. Per haps you ar e raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the ar ea or have won an awar d. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story. GOOD FOR KERZNER, BUT THE BAHAMAS......? SIR SOL KERZNER F ROM page one
A ge aint nothin but a number. And so, apparently, is communications. Especiallyw hen it comes to finally, oh finally, fostering some competition in the Bahamian mar k et, if the regulator had not seemingly bottled it. For the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authoritys (URCA on its number portability consultation appears to be an attempt to make sure it offended neither of the two market giants, namely the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC C able Bahamas. It also looks suspiciously like a triumph of decisionmaking by making no decision at all, instead kicking the major issues for determining how number portability will work over to a Working Group, which will feature both URCA and industry repr esentatives. Given that com petition, and the pricing, service and product benefits expected to follow, are primarily intended to aid Bahamian consumers, it would appear that the primary goal of liberalisation, the Communications Act and accompanying regulations is being stymied. While Cable Bahamas position is laced with selfinterest, given that number portability would help it to attract away ever-increasing numbers of BTC fixed-line customers to its own ReVoice service, its assertion that the issue is the number one pri ority for Bahamian con sumers is not open to serious challenge. Number portability is one of two elements vital to fostering competition in the Bahamian telecommunications market. The first one, interconnec tion, has largely been dealt with, but number portability would allow Bahamian busi nesses and households to keep the same number when they switch communications provider. Without this being in place, the incentive for consumers to change operator from the Bahamas Telecommunica tions Company (BTC Cable Bahamas is much diminished, especially for busi nesses who need to maintain the same number for clients to contact them. Cable Bahamas had pro posed a year-end 2011 dead line for implementing fixedline number portability in the Bahamas, but URCAs rejec tion of this, and decision to throw the key decisions over to the Working Group, has e ffectively pushed its introduction back to mid-2013 at earliest. W hile pledging that "service provider number portability for fixed communica t ions services be implemented and operational as soon as economically and technically feasible", URCA rejected Cable Bahamas suggestion on the grounds that Section Five of the Communications Act required it to account for "the costs and implications of number portability", an issue necessitating wider consultation with communications carriers. Adhering to Cable Bahamas' target date, URCA suggested, could force it "to act in an arbitrary manner" and "prejudice" the consulta tion/information gathering process it must undertake. To Tribune Business this seems, at best, a fudge of an issue critical to not just the communications market and Bahamian consumers, but the competitiveness of the wider Bahamian economy. The Working Group has yet to be formed, and the fastapproaching Christmas season may intervene here, too. It has weeks from the time of its creation to come up with a working solution. One wonders whether URCAs posture would be different if it had someone in the chief executives seat displaying strong leadership. Indeed, the greatest achievement of those who opposed BTCs privatisation may have been to hobble URCA at a critical time in the markets development by forcing out previous chief executive Usman Saadat. The number portability decision has all the hallmarks of an organisation frightened to make a decision for fear of upsetting powerful forces, something not unheard of in the Bahamas. The wider ramifications could be a further setback to this nations development. PAGE 10B, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.190.97AML Foods Limited1.181.180.000.1480.0408.03.39% 10.639.05Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.00-0.6420.080-16.6 0.75% 7.504.40Bank of Bahamas6.246.240.000.2300.10027.11.60% 0.530.17Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.0480.000N/M0.00% 2.842.55Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.0300.09090.03.33% 1.961.77Fidelity Bank1.771.770.000.0970.04018.22.26% 10.468.29Cable Bahamas8.408.400.000.2450.32034.33.81% 2.802.33Colina Holdings2.602.600.000.4380.0405.91.54% 8.508.33Commonwealth Brewery8.508.500.000.7400.00011.50.00% 7.006.21Commonwealth Bank (S1 6.516.510.000.4960.32013.14.92% 2 .001.63Consolidated Water BDRs1.641.60-0.040.1110.04514.42.81% 1.551.24Doctor's Hospital1.241.240.000.0740.04016.83.23% 5.504.75Famguard5.435.430.000.4980.24010.94.42% 7 .504.50Finco4.724.720.000.7570.0006.20.00% 9.397.75CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank8.148.140.000.4940.35016.54.30% 6.004.80Focol (S 4.804.800.000.4350.22011.04.58% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.305.58ICD Utilities7.307.300.00-0.1220.240-59.8 3.29% 10.809.80J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8800.64011.26.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 1 00.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00FINDEX: YEAR END 2008 -12.31%3 0 May 2013 20 November 2029 7 % RoyalFidelityMerchantBank&TrustLtd(Over-The-CounterSecurities) 29 May 2015BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7 % Interest 19 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%THURSDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2011BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,342.60 | CHG -0.04 | %CHG 0.00 | YTD -156.91 | YTD % -10.46BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 1 9 October 2017 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE: 242-677-BISX (2479) | FACSIMILE: 242-323-2320 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSymbolBid $ A sk $Last PriceDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 10.065.01Bahamas SupermarketsN/AN/A14.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.650.750.400.0290.00024.130.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%Last 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.57791.4674CFAL Bond Fund1.5779263.39%5.87%1.548717 3.02482.9020CFAL MSI Preferred Fund3.02482.63%3.94%2.981382 1.61281.5289CFAL Money Market Fund1.61512.61%4.53%1.591803 2.72022.5398Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.4974-8.19%-7.45% 13.849313.3578Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.91804.19%5.21% 114.128999.4177CFAL Global Bond Fund114.09222.35%13.88%114.128861 118.4255101.6693CFAL Global Equity Fund118.42552.30%8.26%116.580785 1.17491.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.18773.59%4.94% 1.13431.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.14152.06%4.07% 1.17641.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.18903.47%5.04% 9.9952 9.5078Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.94330.98%4.58% 11.49859.8690Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.3699-6.17%-2.17% 10.68139.7396Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 310.20631.81%7.39% 8.85647.8830Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund8.65073.01%18.38% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00 YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeks Bid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeks Ask $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volume Last Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volume Weekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to day EPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded today NAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 months N/M Not Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earnings FINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200731-Oct-11 31-Jul-11 31-Oct-11TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752531-Jul-11 30-Jun-11 31-Jul-11 5-Aug-11 30-Oct-11MARKET TERMS30-Sep-11 31-Oct-11 RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd (Over-The-Counter Securities) CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities) BISX Listed Mutual Funds30-Jun-11 30-Sep-11 NAV 6MTH 1.535365 2.952663 1.580804 111.469744 115.762221 NAV Date 31-May-11 30-Sep-11 NOTICE is hereby given that LENFORD HINES of #8 Casey C lose, Gleniston Gardens, P.O.Box-SS6089 is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for registration/naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/ naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 2nd day of DECEMBER 2011 to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, P.O.Box N7147, Nassau, Bahamas.NOTICE BUSINESS REVIEW T roy Garvey means well. Of that there can be little doubt, although Grand Bahama Power Company might disagree. He is a man of action, and wants his power billand those of others to drop immediately. Achieving that m ay be a little harder than he imagines, though, and the solution demands more nuanced action by all concerned. The present situation has its genesis in 1992-1993, just after the first Ingraham administration took office. For this was when Grand Bahama Port A uthority co-owners, Sir Jack Hayward and the late Edward St George, converted plain old Freeport Power from a utility that, under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, existed to serve their licensees, into one where the profit motive became all important. In what was seen b y many as a trade-off for Freeport Power taking over, and completing electrification of Grand Bahamas East and West Ends, the majority stakein the utility was sold to Southern Power of the US, later named Mirant. B oth Mirant, and the subsequent majority ownership consortium, the ill-fated Marubeni/Taqa pairing, often appeared to behave as absentee landlords, treating Grand Bahama Power Company as a pure profit centre and investing very little in capital expend iture and maintenance upgrades. This all accumulated, and is manifesting itself in the generation problems, inefficiencies and relatively high power bills now being experienced. Enter Emera. The Canadian utility came into the equation by purchasing Lady Henrietta St Georges 50 per cent stake in BISX-listed ICD Utilities for around $41-$42 million, a holding that translated into a 25 per stake in the Power Company. It then bought out Marubeni/Taqa in January 2011 to take its equity interest to just over 80 per cent, the remaining percentage being held by Bahamian investors via ICD Utilities. Focus Lets be clear. Emera could be the right partner for Grand Bahama Power Company, ending an almost two decade-long search. The Canadian utility, unlike its predecessors, appears to be taking an active interest in its Bahamian operation, which fits in with its strategic focus on the Caribbean and investments in Barbados and St Lucia. Yet the company must prove itself. Like Mark Finlayson at City Markets, Emera is in something of a Barack Obama position it inherited a mess from the previous incumbents, but blaming everything upon them is an excuse that will wear thin, especially on an island where many residents have taken a beating for the past eight years. While recognising that reliability and prices were the key issues facing Grand Bahama Power Company, Emera appears to have thought it could keep the natives happy (and quiet its $80 million power plant. That, though, was a mistake that left it behind the public relations curve when the Operation Justice storm broke, and it has been scrambling to catch up ever since. The complaints are summarised succinctly by this email sent to Tribune Businesss website: We bought our house in Freeport six years ago. I have never once seen a person come and look at our meter .... EVER!! Our bills range WILDLY .... and last month .... after not being on the island AND our house being shut down for three months we received a $2,400 bill .... yes .... you read that right ... for a residential property. This is nearly four times the amount of any of the previous bills. Not sure what the heck is going on, but I'll be the first standing in line when refunds are given out, thank you very much. Enter Troy Garvey. The Operation Justice head has, at times, led what seems to be a one-man campaign to highlight the economic and social woes created by high electricity bills, a crusade that might yet culminate in some kind of class action lawsuit against the Grand Bahama Power Company. Tribune Business is no lawyer, and cannot comment on their chances of success, and there are signs that Mr Garvey may be starting to get carried away by his own hype. Nevertheless, Grand Bahamas energy costs are untenable, something Hutchison Port Holdings global chief, John Meredith, brought into sharp relief when he said the Hong Long conglomerate was frankly desperate to reduce the Grand Lucayans power bill. Something must be done, especially if Freeports industrial and hotel sectors are not to be killed off. Reliability But what? Emera says it is w orking to a three-stage plan with Grand Bahama Power Company, involving short, medium and long-term steps. Improving generation reliability was the former, the $80 million power plant the middle of the sandwich, and sustainable, renewable energy options the long-term goal. All well and good, as is the proposed fuel hedging strategy, but this will take time. What about accountability and transparency? Grand Bahama Power Company candidly admitted this week, in response to Tribune B usiness questions, that its cur rent GBPA-approved rate structure did not hold it accountable for generation and internal inefficiencies. This, of course, means it is not accountable for higher electricity bills passed on to Grand Bahama consumers due to its own intern al woes. Grand Bahama Power Company confessed: The current rate structure doesn't include targets that hold Grand Bahama Power Companya ccountable for inefficiencies. The new rate structure that we requested will. What it will do is give Grand Bahama Power Company targets that say it should take you X amount of fuel/money to run your plant and keep the power on. If you don't, then you have to take t he hit for it and absorb the extra costs. "This request was made by Emera to make Grand Bahama Power Company more accountable to our customers, and to make the way we operate and do business more transparent. We have been hard at work w ith our regulators to have this new rate structure approved and in place for when the new West Sunrise plant is online in July 2012." If this is followed up on, it will be a reasonable start. But the same must apply to the fuel surcharge, too, not just t he base rate. Grand Bahami ans must see and understand how it is calculated, which will also hold the company accountable. And the GBPA must also, finally, step up to the plate and not only be, but actually act and enforce, its role as Grand Bahama Power Companys reg-u lator. It has failed miserably to do so to date and, if not up to the task, must contract an agency (not URCA preferably to exercise its responsibilities for it. A good regulator would not have permitted Grand Bahama Power Company to slip in the $0.03 per kilowatt hour addition to the fuel surc harge to cover the costs of renting extra generation units, and forcing consumers to pay for its internal inefficiencies. Troy Garvey means well. But Tribune Business prefers the more nuanced response of former Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce president, attorn ey Gregory Moss, who previously told this newspaper: The only credible, viable option is one of two things. Either the Port gets its act together and creates a proper regulatory authority, or get a regulatory agency engaged to discharge that function on its behalf." T ogether with transparency and accountability, that will bea start. Emera must then make good on its pledges, if Grand Bahamas economy is to power up and not die from lack of energy. POWER UP FOR GRABS T elecoms ain t nothin but a por table number NOTICE is hereby given that MICHELDUKENS of Pinewood G ardens is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for registration/naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, a nd that any person who knows any reason why registration/ naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 2nd day of DECEMBER 2011 to the Minister responsible for Nationality a nd Citizenship, P.O.Box N7147, Nassau, Bahamas.NOTICE URCA decision has hallmarks of fudg e designed to ensure regulator upset no one Transparency and accountability will go long way to addressing GB Powers woes T ROYGARVEY w ants his power bill and those of others to drop i mmediately.
T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 11B NOTICE INTEROIL BUFFALO HOLDINGS INC Pursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8 of the International Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the abovenamed Company has been dissolved and struck Dissolution issued by The Registrar General on the 1st day of November, A.D., 2011. Dated the 30th day of November, A.D., 2011. Kirvy Ferguson Liquidator of INTEROIL BUFFALO HOLDINGS INC NOTICEESSO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION ANGOLA (BLOCK XXPursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8 of the International Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the abovenamed Company has been dissolved and cate of Dissolution issued by The Registrar General on the 30th day of August, A.D., 2011.Dated the 30th day of November, A.D., 2011.Carol Gray Liquidator of ESSO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION ANGOLA (BLOCK XX NOTICEESSO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION ANGOLA (BLOCK XIXP ursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the above-named Company has been dissolved and struck off the Register pursuant to a Registrar General on the 30th day of August, Carol Gray Liquidator of ESSO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION ANGOLA (BLOCK XIX NOTICE S.P.I. INTEROIL HOLDINGS LTD Pursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the above-named Company has been dissolved and struck off the Register pursuant to a Registrar General on the 1st day of November, A.D., 2011.Dated the 30th day of November, A.D., 2011. Kirvy Ferguson Liquidator of S.P.I. INTEROIL HOLDINGS LTD EXXON JAPAN PIPELINE LIMITED NOTICE Pursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8national Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the above-named Company has been dissolved Dissolution issued by The Registrar General on the 19th day of October A.D., 2011. Dated the 17th day of November, A.D., 2011. Carol Gray Liquidator of EXXON JAPAN PIPELINE LIMITED ESSO NIGERIA SAO TOME (TWO NOTICE Pursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8 International Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the above-named Company has been dissolved and struck off the Register pursuant to a Carol Gray Liquidator of ESSO NIGERIA-SAO TOME (TWO EXXON TRINIDAD LIMITED NOTICE Pursuant to the provisions of Section 138 (8 International Business Companies Act 2000, notice is hereby given that the above-named Company has been dissolved and struck off the Register pursuant to a Liquidator of N O T I C E ESSO NIGERIA (OFFSHORE REGIONAL ONE) LIMITED NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows: (aESSO NIGERIA(OFFSHORE REGIONALONE) LIMITED is in dissolution under the provisions of the International Business Companies Act 2000 (bcommenced on the 22nd day of November, 2011 when its Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General. (cLiquidator of the said Company is Carol G. Gray of 16825 Northchase Drive, Houston, Texas 77060, USA. Dated the 24th day of November, 2011HARRY B. SANDS, LOBOSKY MANAGEMENT CO. LTDRegistered Agent for the above-named Company N O T I C E ESSO NIGERIA (OFFSHORE REGIONAL ONE) L IMITED _____________________________________________ C reditors having debts or claimsagainst the above-named Company are required to send particulars thereof to the undersigned c/o P.O. Box N-624, Nassau, Bahamas on or b efore 16th day of December, A.D., 2011. In default distribution made by the Liquidator. Dated the 24th day of November, A.D., 2010. C arol G. Gray Liquidator 16825 Northchase Drive H ouston,Texas 77060 U.S.A. BUSINESS REVIEW B y NATARIO McKEKNZIE Tribune Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org NEW ATLANTIS OWNER SAYS RESORT 'ICONIC, IRREPLACEABLE' THE new owner of Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club said earlier this week that it would retain control for the "foreseeable future", describing the Paradise Islandp roperties as "iconic, irreplaceable assets" that could not be matched anywhere else in the world. Speaking to Tribune Business after its $175 milliond ebt-for-equity swap with Kerzner International was unveiled, Brookfield Asset Management spokesman Andrew Willis moved to dampen Bahamian fears it would shortly seek to "flip"t he two resorts to another buyer, saying the Torontoheadquartered finance house typically took a "longt erm" view of its investments. We are excited to own these assets," he told Tribune B usiness. We think they're one-of-akind, irreplaceable assets. We expect to own them for the foreseeable future, and look forward to working with Kerzner International to ensure the resorts a re successful, and that tourism in the Bahamas is s uccessful. B rookfield, Mr Willis explained, "looks for iconic, irreplaceable assets, and in the hospitality world nothing i s more one of a kind than Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club." KFC AND UNION IN TALKS KENTUCKY Fried Chicken (KFCa nd the Bahamas Hotel, C atering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU with Labour Minister Dion Foulkes in a bid to resolve all outstanding issues, with the u nion's vice-president charging that the company's decis ion to not pay Christmas bonuses had nothing to do with negotiations on a new labour deal. KFC last week released a s tatement outlining the company's financial woes, stating that its survival hinged on renegotiating a reduced wages a nd benefits package for its line staff. I t said that while the company was subject to the same operating costs as its com-p etitors, its wage and benef its package was more than two times' higher, describing this as "unsustainable" and n eeding to be reduced in a new industrial agreement. It said it was "operating at ag reat disadvantage" as a result. Explaining the union's position, Darren Woods told Tribune Business: "Our position i s the company only on Tuesday indicated that they are n ot in a position to pay the Christmas bonus and, of course, that's not the way we operate, because we have a contractual agreement that would provide Christmas bonuses for those persons. Ini ts statement, KFC disclosed it h ad to secure additional financing to maintain its operations, although it was not clear whether this was equity or debt. KFC warned that its survival hinged on renegoti-a ting a reduced wages and b enefits package for its line staff, saying this was more than double the industry average and making the company uncompetitive against ever-increasing competition. S ELF-STARTER ENJOYS 63% S UCCESS RATE T HE Government's selfstarter programme has generated a business success rate of 63 per cent, with $2.3 million having been disburseds ince its inception in July 2007 u p to October 2011, according to a report tabled in the House of Assembly this week. The report, tabled by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynards howed that while 295 entrep reneurs were successful todate, 87 businesses, or 19 per cent, that it financed have been dissolved. Collectively, these failures accounted for $393.608 in taxpayer grantf unds that have failed to bear fruit. Mr Maynard said the total number of applications submitted for the self-starter programme between July 2007 a nd October 2011 was 1,064, and, of that number, 508 pers ons received grants. The s uccess rate of self-starters far exceeds that of the formal priv ate sector, which sees seven out of every 10 businesses fail within their first three years of operation," Mr Maynard said. The study also revealed thata mong the 508 businesses surveyed, 287 persons have been employed among 116 compa-n ies. According to the report, b etween July 2007 and June 2 011, 248 males and 218 f emales benefited from the s elf-starter grant, with men receiving higher funding on a verage. Men received $1.129 million in grant funding during that period, and women received $1 million. New Providence received a totalo f $1.476 million in grant disb ursements during the period. Grand Bahama received $270,851 and Andros received a total of $219,363 in grant disbursements. The report state that 48 per cent (225b usinesses have reported that t heir businesses are in "good" status accounting for $1,032,594.71 in grant funds. The 87 businesses reporting dissolved status constitute a total of $393,608.27 in grantf unds. During the period July 2011 to October 2011, 42 grants were disbursed amounting to $200,271. CITY MARKETS MOVES HQ TO J FK DRIVE T HE AILING City Mark ets supermarket chain has moved its corporate headq uarters from East-West Highway to the former Burns House property on JFK Drive/Bethel Avenue. The five-store chain last n ight confirmed Tribune Business's information that Nikki Finlayson-Boeuf andR ae Finlayson had been appointed as executive vicep residents for City Markets, e ach having responsibility for d ifferent stores. I n a statement, City Markets and Bahamas Supermark ets presented Mark Fin layson's departure as him taking "a much-needed break". There was no word on when h e would return. Mr Finl ayson subsequently rebutted assertions that he was asked to step down from the helm of the City Markets' food store chain, releasing a revised management structure for the company that confirmed sev-e ral departures. The City Markets management chart still shows Mr Finlayson as president, with responsibility for the compan y's investment and corporate/legal affairs. His siblings, N ikki and Rae, are shown as executive vice-presidents who are heading the management team and responsible for dayto-day operations. W ATER CORP'S $81M IDB LOAN APPROVED THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB has approved an $81 million loan for a project aimed at r ehabilitating the Water & Sewerage Corporation's ( WSC) water supply and wastewater treatment provis ion. A ccording to the IDB, "the operation intends to support t he WSC in its institutional strengthening activities, reduction of water losses, modernisation, and reform of the water and sanitation sec-t or regulatory framework". T he $81 million investment loan was approved by the I DB on Wednesday. A September 2011 Envir onmental and Social Analys is, prepared by Bahamian e nvironmental consultant S tacey Moultrie for the proTHE MONTH IN REVIEW MINISTER OF YOUTH Sports a nd Culture Charles Maynard SEE page 9B
InternationalInvestmentFundBAHAMAS Nassau:242.356.9801 Freeport:242.351.3010 BUSINESS REVIEW PAGE 12B FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 SELF-STARTER ENJOYS 63% SUCCESS RATE SEE PAGE 11B TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY WILL GO LONG WAY TO ADDRESSING GB POWERS WOES SEE PAGE 10B I t must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Upon launching the $ 3.6 billion bid with his father to take Kerzner International private, the late Butch Kerzner told Tribune B usiness in March 2006: Clearly, we would not be doing this if we were not confident we could build this business over the long term..... If only he hadk nown what lay around the corner. Its too late for the crys tal ball, and we all know h indsight is a wonderful thing, but Sir Sol Kerzner indicated this week that, of course, had they predicted the severity and length of the current recession, Kerzn er Internationals New York Stock Exchange (NYSE listing would never have happened. And nor would Brookfield Asset Managements takeover of equity ownership at Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club. Everything that occurred this week on Paradise Island can be directly traced to that fateful 2006 decision, which saddled Kerzner Interna tional and its Bahamian properties with a $2.6 billion debt burden that simply proved too much once the crunch hit. Nobody, not even Sir Sol with his 50 years of experi ence in business as a go-getting entrepreneur, could have predicted the five tumultuous years that followed, scarred as they were by personal tragedy in the loss of his son, the failure to generate the projected returns from the $1 billion Phase III expansion, and the struggle to prevent Atlantis from once again becoming the Lost City as negotiations with the creditors over his companys crushing debt mountain dragged on. But with the Brookfield agreement now done, at least in principle, Sir Sol almost looked a new man when he greeted the media on Tuesday, striding in with purpose and vigor, and start ing his press conference in a jovial mood. Those who saw him privately that day also remarked upon how relaxed he looked, as if the weight of the world (at least a debt weight), had been removed from his shoulders. But, while the future for Sir Sol and his company now appears slightly rosier, for Kerzner International cann ow go back to, as the man himself put it, doing what we do best running andm anaging hotels Bahamians in general can be forgiv en for feeling distinctly uneasy. The restructuring, via a debt-for-equity swap, was probably the only realistic way out for Sir Sol, especially given the financial burden it was likely placing on both himself, person ally, and his familys interests. No longer will Kerzner International be saddled with real estate ownership in the form of Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club, and all the balance sheet depreciation that brings. But it is what the new owners, Brookfield, will bring or not bring to the table, as the case may be, that the Bahamian economy should view with some trepidation. Indeed, one wonders if this weeks events would have occurred had Butch Kerzner still been here. Tribune Business recalls the smooth investor and analyst presentations he gave when Kerzner International was still a public company, and how he almost effortlessly handled Wall Streets demands. It is interesting to mull whether the outcome would have been different had he been leading negoti ations with the lenders. Tri bune Business still wonders about that. It may only be now that the full ramifica tions of that tragic day in the Dominican Republic are being felt by the Bahamas. Everything changes, but nothing changes was the gloss put on the Brookfield arrangement by Sir Sol and his executive team this week. This is true, certainly in the short-term, and Atlantis/One & Only Ocean Club staff and guests will experience no visible changes to the daily opera tions. The good news was that Kerzner Internationalr emains in charge of the dayto-day management, and Brookfield would indeedh ave been foolish to dispense with a team that knows Paradise Island inside out, and how to run prof itable hotel operations in the Bahamas one of the hardest things to accomplish in this nation. Yet it is the back office, behind the scenes and in the executive and board rooms, where things are likely to alter. You so wanted to believe the business as usu al assertions, but this does not alter the fact that Brookfields objectives, expectations and philosophy could well be radically different from that of Kerzner Internationals. There is little doubt that Brookfield has effectively picked up a crown jewel of the global destination resort industry for a snip, or bargain basement price, even if the return on its $175 million loan has been unexpected. Its hardball nego tiating strategy appears to have paid off, the Wall Street Journal reporting back in August that Kerzner International had offered the creditor group an upfront $100 million downpayment on its $2.6 billion debt. Brookfield, though, demanded $200 million a sum it appears Sir Sol could not meet, forcing him into the debt-for-equity swap. Brookfields spokesman, when questioned about that article, acknowledged he had seen it but declined to comment further, usually an indication there is at least some truth in it. Now comes the small mat Assertions that nothing will c hange on Paradise Island must be tak en at f ace value for the moment, but will new owner have national interests at heart? SEE page 9B